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Meadow Peak and Lookout

Meadow Peak and Lookout

Meadow Peak and Lookout

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Montana, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.07972°N / 114.98778°W

Object Title: Meadow Peak and Lookout

County: Flathead

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 6709 ft / 2045 m


Page By: rebelgrizz

Created/Edited: Jul 21, 2011 / Jan 4, 2012

Object ID: 730782

Hits: 2471 

Page Score: 85.36%  - 20 Votes 

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Meadow Peak is located in NW Montana's Salish Mountains. Un-like many other summits in this mountain range, the summit of Meadow Peak is rocky and tree-less, thus, it owns commanding views in every direction, very suitable for a lookout.

From this vantage point, on a clear day, you can see many of NW Montana's multiple mountain ranges. Immediately surrounding the peak, of course, more of the Salish Mountains, further to the east, the Swans, to the SE, the Missions, to the NE, the Whitefish Range, and the high peaks of Glacier National Park. Lastly, but certainly not least, to the west, the beautiful Cabinets.

Meadow Peak's lookout is listed on the National Historic Lookout Register.

Getting There

Meadow Peak and Lookout
FS Road #511
Meadow Peak and Lookout
Drive 40 Miles west of Kalispell on Hwy 2. Turn right on FS Road #511. Unfortunately, #511 is not marked at all. However, directly across Hwy 2 on the south side of the road, there is another road that is marked as "Lang Creek Road". Drive 2.19 miles up #511 to the place where Lang Creek has washed out the road and park.

Route Information

Meadow Peak and Lookout
Meadow Peak from where we planned to park
Meadow Peak and Lookout
Zoom of lookout from same area
Our original intention was to drive up #511 for approximately 4.5 miles to a large pull-out and begin the hike from there. We were un-aware of the road being washed out until we tried to drive up the road. I had spoken to the KNF about whether any of the trails to the summit of Meadow Peak had been cleared and was told that all but one, the longest and the longest to drive to, hadn't been touched in years. The road was not discussed but I'm pretty sure that they already knew by then that it had been washed out.

In any event, the road issue adds a little over 3 miles of one-way hiking to your trip and 537' in elevation.

Meadow Peak and Lookout
Road hiking
Meadow Peak and Lookout
Bear print on upper section of road

All in all, this route is just a long hike up a steep and rocky FS Road. If the road were repaired you could actually drive all the way to the top. There are also many other pull-outs farther up the road past the one we were going to use so that it is possible to make the hike as long or as short as you want (once the road is repaired). Having said that, the road itself is extremely rocky with lots of loose rock on the lower, steeper sections (you should be careful) and larger, flatter rocks on the upper, more level section.


TerrainOne-Way MileageElevation Gain
FS Road7.653034'

Summit Views

Camping and RedTape

Meadow Peak is located in the Kootenai National Forest which is bear country. Don't hike alone, make noise as you hike, and carry bear spray and know how to use it. The Salish Mountains are chock full of healthy-sized black bears and the occasional grizzly.

Bear Stuff

A map of the Kootenai National Forest is also very helpful in negotiating the many FS Roads in the Salish Mountains. Bug repellent is an absolute necessity in Montana in June and July. Water is available on this hike from Lang Creek...use a filter if you obtain water here.

The closest official campground is at McGregor Lake.

Parting Shots

As we rested on the summit soaking up the views and doing our best to stay out of the brutal west wind that day we were treated to, what apparently is a pretty rare atmospheric phenomenon, a circumhorizontal arc, pictured below.